Chasing Birds across Texas
A Birding Big Year
Natural History - Ornithology
6.125 x 9.25, 280 pp.
10 color photos., 11 b&w photos., Maps.
Pub Date: 10/16/2003
Louise Lindsey Merrick Natural Environment Series
  cloth
Price:        $40.00 s

978-1-58544-295-9
  paper
Price:        $18.95

978-1-58544-296-6
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Published by Texas A&M University Press

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Chasing Birds across Texas

A Birding Big Year

By Mark T. Adams
Foreword by Brush Freeman
Illustrations by Kelly B. Bryan

On the morning of January 1, 2000, Mark T. Adams started counting birds. His goal was to find the largest possible number of species in one year in Texas, an undertaking known in birding parlance as a Big Year. By the evening of December 31, he had tied the record of 489 species seen or heard within the state’s borders in a single calendar year. Traveling 30,000 miles across Texas by car and 18,000 miles by plane, Adams alone saw 92 percent of all bird species reported in the state in 2000.

In Chasing Birds across Texas, Adams invites birders and others with a broad interest in the outdoors to join him in exploring Texas’ varied habitats on his quest for birds—from the upper coast to the lower coast; into the Hill Country, the Panhandle, and the Chihuahuan Desert; and up the Davis, Chisos, and Guadalupe Mountains. As he happily celebrates the bounty of the Valley’s spring migration or desperately searches for a Panhandle rarity, we watch him grow as a naturalist, exult in the Texas landscape, and benefit from the company of some of the world’s best birders.

Informative, inspiring, and great fun, Chasing Birds across Texas conveys as perhaps no other bird book can the humor, obsession, dedication, and adventure that are all part of the sport of birding.

Mark T. Adams is an astronomer by trade and works at the National Radio Astronomy Observatory in Charlottesville, Virginia. He serves as subregional director for the Trans-Pecos for North American Birds, published by the American Birding Association, and conducts Breeding Bird Survey counts for the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service.

What Readers Are Saying:

“The book is an odd adventure storyT, one that those who love birds and Texas geography will savor. Adams continually used his scientific instincts and knowledge to report his observations.” --Texas Co-op Power

“Adams is not the first to attempt to find the most birds ever in a year in Texas, nor will he be the last, but he surely has written a good account of the journey.” --San Antonio Express-News

“What could be bigger than a full year of tracking down every bird in the fabulous state of Texas? Join ace birder Mark Adams on this play-by-play of how he did it. A great ride and a great read.” --Kenn Kaufman

“Anyone who enjoys a real life adventure in nature will thoroughly enjoy Mark Adams’ Chasing Birds Across Texas. It is far more than a birding book; it also is a real-life adventure that takes place totally withing the Lone Star State. . . an exciting and fun book for everyone, even those with only a slight interest in birds. Adam’s play-by-play account is a great read.” --Victoria Advocate

“The book gives beginner birders an idea of how the serious birders do things. He explains how lists are kept, great places to see birds and some tips on bird watching.” --Breckenridge American

“This is a superb book. It is so good that I am tempted to rank it on par with Roy Bedichek’s Adventures With a Texas Naturalist and John Graves’, Goodbye to a River, which I think are the best books ever written about being outdoors in Texas. The book’s real strength, however, lies not only in the details of birding but in the way that it reveals how one man’s curiosity about birds opened a whole realm of nature to him – migration patterns, mating habits, feeding behavior, and the whole web of associations and interactions that make up the avian world. Chasing Birds Across Texas shows what an attractive and enticing path to learning birding can be as well as how much the author enjoys it.” --The Desert-Mountain Times

“Adams narrative style holds the reader’s interest and his homage to the natural beauty of the Lone Star State is reminiscent of John Graves’ Goodbye to a River. Those here in the Valley wanting to be entertained might do well to pick up [this book] and take a seat in our own backyards.” --The Monitor

“This book is most attractive to the birdwatcher, but the quest for more and more birds is engrossing and likable and would be of use in a highschool or city library.” --Review of Texas Books

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